Whether you’re painting a new house, remodeling an old one, or want to spice up your exterior, choosing the best exterior paint is vital. You want to make sure you choose the right type and color of paint, all while ensuring that it adds value, style, and protection to whatever you’re painting.
If you’re struggling to choose the right exterior paint, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re painting brick, wood, stucco, or anything else, our goal is to guide you towards the best decision for your project.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Exterior Paint
There are almost as many things to consider when choosing paint as there are actual paint choices! However, by taking everything into consideration and looking at the overall goal, you have a better chance of selecting the best exterior paint.
How Long Will It Last?
Painting the outside of your house is expensive and time-consuming, and you don’t want to do it more often than necessary. For that reason, it’s essential to choose an exterior paint that’s durable and long-lasting. The most popular options for outdoor paint are acrylic-based, latex-based, and oil-based paints.
As a general rule, the higher quality and more expensive your paint is, the longer it will last. However, here are a few other factors that impact durability.
- How many coats you apply.
The more coats of paint you put on, the longer it will last.
- The type of paint you apply.
High-quality latex and acrylic paints last longer than cheaper ones, but neither lasts as long as oil-based exterior paint. However, oil-based paint is slowly going out of style due to its volatile ingredients and the fact that it yellows and discolors with time. The paint itself will last long, but the color will fade quicker than other types of paint.
- How you apply it.
Using a paint sprayer is the fastest and easiest method of painting, but using a brush or roller applies a thicker coat, which will last longer.
How Fast Will It Dry?
Dry time matters if you’re on a time constraint. If you’re applying multiple coats, each coat must dry before applying the next one. For that reason, you’ll want to pick exterior paint with a quick dry time if you’re in a hurry.
As with all DIY or home improvement projects, it always comes down to money. The more you spend on exterior paint, the higher-quality it will be. However, as we’ll cover later on, there are some excellent budget options for exterior paint. You’ll have to figure out your budget, how much paint you need, and purchase your exterior paint accordingly.
Will It Fade With Time?
As with durability and longevity, fade is affected by the type and quality of the paint you choose. Oil-based paints will fade quicker than latex or acrylic, but the overall paint will last longer. Low-quality paints contain ingredients such as silica, talc, or clay, which fade faster than the pigment of high-quality paints. It’s also worth noting that darker paints fade faster than light-colored paints.
Will It Last in Minnesota?
Weather resistance is a huge factor with exterior paint, especially in Minnesota. Rain, snow, and wind are all factors to consider when thinking about Minnesota weather. You’ll want exterior paint with high amounts of latex or acrylic and high grades in weather resistance. In southern states with lots of sunshine and wind, you might choose a different exterior paint with other qualities.
Different Exterior Paints for Different Surfaces
One of the most important things to consider with exterior paint is the type of surface you’re applying it to. Siding, brick, wood, and masonry products all turn out better depending on the type of paint that you use.
It’s also important to note whether or not the surface you’re painting has pre-existing paint on it. If so, you should always use the same type of paint already present. If latex paint was used previously, you too should use latex paint. This will allow for a smoother coat that adheres to the surface better than a completely new coat of paint would.
What Type of Exterior Paint for Siding
Most modern siding is made of composite and fiber cement. Painting siding is a tricky process that involves several coats and several different products. You should start with an acrylic masonry primer that you apply before the actual paint. When your primer is nice and dry, you should apply either latex or acrylic paint to the siding.
What Type of Exterior Paint for Brick
Any brick, masonry, concrete, or stucco material requires first adding a masonry primer. Primer goes a long way in helping the paint stick to whatever you’re painting and will make for a smoother coat. Painting brick and other forms of masonry should always be done using paint specifically designed for masonry.
This type of paint has ingredients that allow the paint to flex and expand because brick will inevitably expand and contract. If expansion happens and you don’t use flexible paint, your paint job will crack and crumble with time.
What Type of Exterior Paint for Porch and Patio
When painting a porch or patio, you have to consider the floor and not just the walls and ceiling. Your floor will see a ton of foot traffic, which means the paint has to be durable. For concrete floors, you’ll want the same type of masonry paint that’s used for brick or concrete.
If you’re painting a deck, however, you’ll want oil or water-based paint that’s durable and water-resistant. Oil-based paint will last longer, but water-based paint will fade less. You should look for paint used explicitly for decks and other outdoor surfaces.
What Type of Exterior Paint for Wood
Of all the materials we’re covering, wood is the most porous and moisture-absorbent. This means that certain types of paint will peel and crack faster than other types. Painting wood is where oil-based paint really comes in handy. It absorbs into wood better than other types of paint and will last longer and fade less. If you don’t want to use oil-based paint, high-quality acrylic paint is your next best bet.
Overall Best Exterior Paint
Be forewarned that the different paints in this section will likely be the most expensive. No matter the type, high-quality paint is always going to cost more than the lower-quality option. However, if you have room in your budget, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better paints than these.
This is one of the best overall exterior paints that money can buy and costs just under $90 per gallon. It’s self-priming and mildew resistant, which is critical for withstanding Minnesota weather.
Behr is another great brand for an exterior paint that’s long-lasting and durable. It’s also a cheaper option at $45 if you’re looking to save a bit of cash.
Best Exterior Paint for a Budget
While high-quality paint is preferable, it’s also much steeper in price. Not everyone has hundreds or thousands of dollars to spend on exterior paint. If you’re on a budget and need a solid exterior paint, here are the three best options we could find.
Not only is this product mold and mildew-proof, but it’s also self-priming which will save time and money.
This is an oil-based paint that doesn’t include primer, so that’s something to keep in mind when making your purchase.
Each of these paints can be purchased for $25 or less and will do a fine job for your exterior. Make sure to pay attention to which types of paint are good for different surfaces when making your choice.
Best Exterior Paint for Wood
Here are some of the top options when it comes to exterior paint for wood surfaces.
This product is a dual-purpose paint and primer and is extremely protective against the elements.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find better paint for wood surfaces than this one. Each of these options will run in the $40 to $50 range.
Make sure to plan to use more paint for wood than other surfaces because of how porous it is.
Best Exterior Paint for Siding
We’ll look at options for painting both vinyl and aluminum siding. The most important thing to keep in mind is to use the same type of paint – acrylic, latex, or oil-based – that was used previously. If your siding doesn’t have an existing coat of paint, you can use whatever type you want.
This brand of paint from Benjamin Moore offers a variety of options depending on your budget and desires. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be happy with the results when you use Minneapolis Painting Company.
Best Exterior Paint for Brick and Stucco
The biggest thing to remember with brick and stucco surfaces is to choose a paint that adheres and expands with it. Choosing the wrong type of paint will result in chipping and cracking and an ugly paint job.
As the name entails, this paint is perfect for matching the expansion of brick and stucco. It will also stand up to the harsh Minnesota winters. It’s also very affordable at just $30 per gallon.
Best Exterior Paint for Porch and Patio
Durability and choosing a color that won’t easily fade are two crucial ingredients to choosing the right paint for a porch and patio. Durability and fade are especially important to consider if you’re painting the floor because of the wear and tear it will go through.
Whether your floor or walkway is made of concrete, wood, or anything else, this paint will get the job done. It’s also mildew, scuff, and fade resistant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you always need to add a primer for exterior paint?
It’s a good idea to add a layer of primer before doing any exterior painting. However, many great paint options come with primer included.
What’s the best outdoor temperature to apply exterior paint?
The ideal temperature for exterior painting is 50 to 70 degrees. Anything colder than 35 degrees and exterior paint will struggle to adhere to its surface.
What’s the longest-lasting type of exterior paint?
Oil-based paints are the longest-lasting type of paint, but they also fade quicker and are the most volatile and eco-unfriendly.
Exterior paint is an excellent investment that will protect your home and increase its value, as long as you choose the right paint. Making your final decision can seem overwhelming unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. You also have to choose between doing the job yourself or enlisting the help of a professional painter.
If you choose the latter, Minneapolis Painting Company is the choice for you. We have experience with any type of exterior painting job and paint application. We can even help out in the decision of which paint is the right option for you. Contact us today to find out how we can make your exterior paint dreams a reality!